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Daily News Digest – July 26, 2019

Good morning and Happy Friday!
Here’s your Daily News for July 26.


1. Chemical castration law could be limited.

  • In about a month, a new law requiring chemical castration of some sex offenders will go into effect.
  • Sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst, the bill got a lot of attention during and after the legislative session due to its controversial subject matter.
  • As it turns out, this new law will have a limited impact, mostly because of how Alabama law already deals with sex offenders on parole.
  • The new law requires a convicted child sex offender whose victim was younger than 13 to start the chemical castration process before they are allowed to be paroled.
  • However, current law already prevents parole for offenders convicted of a Class A or Class B felony sex offense against a child under the age of 12. That means it would only apply to Class C sex offenders who want to be paroled. Convicts could also avoid the shots by simply serving out their prison sentence.
  • ADN’s Caroline Beck spoke to Hurst, Senate Judiciary Chairman Cam Ward, the Governor’s office and others about the situation, what individuals it applies to, and what might happen next.
  • Read her full story HERE.


2. Feds resume death penalty.

  • The Justice Department said Thursday the federal government will resume executing death-row inmates for the first time since 2003, ending an informal moratorium on capital punishment.
  • Attorney General William Barr instructed the Bureau of Prisons to schedule executions starting in December for five men, all accused of murdering children. Although the death penalty remains legal in 30 states, executions on the federal level are rare.
  • “The Justice Department upholds the rule of law — and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system,” Barr said.
  • The move is likely to stir up fresh interest in an issue that has largely lain dormant in recent years, adding a new front to the culture battles that President Donald Trump already is waging on matters such as abortion and immigration in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.
  • Most Democrats oppose capital punishment. Vice President Joe Biden this week shifted to call for the elimination of the federal death penalty after years of supporting it.
  • By contrast, Trump has spoken often about capital punishment and his belief that executions serve as both an effective deterrent and appropriate punishment for some crimes, including mass shootings and the killings of police officers.
  • “I think they should very much bring the death penalty into vogue,” Trump said last year after 11 people were gunned down in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
  • The first individuals scheduled to be executed are: Danny Lee, a white supremacist who was convicted of killing a family of three, including an 8-year-old; Lezmond Mitchell, who beheaded a 63-year-old woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter; Wesley Ira Purkey, who raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl and killed an 80-year-old woman; Alfred Bourgeois, who tortured, molested and then beat his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to death; and Dustin Lee Honken, who killed five people, including two children.
  • Read the full story including more information on those being executed HERE.


3. Port ups its chill game.

  • A new state-of-the-art refrigerated warehouse is coming to the state docks.
  • The Alabama State Port Authority on Thursday celebrated the groundbreaking for MTC Logistics and its 12 million cubic foot, $61 million “international temperature-controlled distribution center.”
  • The facility will open Alabama’s port up to more products and bring back lost business by expanding blast freezing and refrigerated storage capabilities.
  • That’s good news for Alabama’s poultry and seafood industries that currently send a lot of product through New Orleans, Savannah or Charleston.
  • Read more from Lily Jackson HERE.


4. Abortion case tests unborn rights.


  • In a case that spotlights Alabama’s state policy recognizing the rights of unborn children, a judge is deciding whether to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of an aborted embryo against the clinic where his ex-girlfriend obtained an abortion.
  • Madison County District Judge Chris Comer heard arguments in the case this week but did not rule.
  • A probate judge earlier this year took the unusual step of opening an estate for the aborted embryo, known as “Baby Roe” in court filings, after the plaintiff’s attorney cited a newly-approved Alabama constitutional amendment saying its state policy to recognize the “rights of unborn children.”
  • A lawyer for the clinic that performed the abortion told the judge that there is no wrongful death because abortion is legal. The clinic has asked the judge to dismiss the case.
  • Plaintiff Ryan Magers and his then-girlfriend were both teenagers when she got pregnant in 2017. The suit says Magers pleaded with the young woman not to have an abortion but she did so anyway. The suit names the clinic where Magers contends his former girlfriend received an abortion-inducting medication when she was six weeks pregnant.
  • Magers’ attorney, Brent Helms, said, “there’s never been a case like this in the United States of America.”
  • Read more HERE.


5. Parker Snider: Don’t Discount the Census.

  • Lots of folks don’t like answering the door or a phone call just to be asked questions. That’s especially true if the person calling on you is from the federal government.
  • But even those who favor limited government need to be sure to participate in the upcoming Census, argues Parker Snider of the Alabama Policy Institute in a contributed column today.
  • A seat in Congress – probably a conservative one – might hang in the balance.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“Unfortunately, most projections suggest that Alabama will lose a seat in the U.S. House as a result of the 2020 Census. That’s because, although Alabama is growing, it is not growing as fast as other states. The 435 seats in the House, as directed in the Constitution, must be allocated to each state so that each member of Congress represents roughly the same number of people. Since the population is increasing quickly in places like Texas, Oregon, and Florida, the reapportionment of congressional seats will likely benefit their interests over ours.
“…Overall, the results of the 2020 Census could reduce Alabama to a state that has fewer voices in Congress, a lower rate of federal funding, and less power to choose the President. This version of Alabama is not good for the conservative cause.
“…The truth is that Alabama just might keep all seven of our congressional districts and all nine electoral college votes. To do so, however, we need a full count of everyone living in the state.”
  • Read his full column HERE.


Of Note…

  • There are some promotions of note from U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby’s office.
  • Morgan Ulmer, who has served as Shelby’s Legislative Director for the last year, has been named Clerk of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. That’s the top staff position for the panel that handles all Ag related spending in the Senate.
  • Clay Armentrout, who has worked as both Legislative Assistant and General Counsel, has been named Legislative Director. He will remain Shelby’s Counsel in addition to his role as LD.
  • And Michael Ciamarra has been promoted from Legislative Aide to Legislative Assistant in the Shelby office.
  • Congrats to all!



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds w/ Frank Abagnale, Jr.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Chemical castration law’s impact could be minimal
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US government will execute inmates for first time since 2003
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – A look at the 5 federal death row inmates facing execution
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Aborted embryo suit rests on Alabama ‘unborn rights’ policy
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Parker Snider: .Why limited-government conservatives should participate in the Census
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Skip Tucker: Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy Column: This Mobile Mess
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – July 25, 2019
AL.COM  – Alabama judge deciding whether to dismiss father’s wrongful death abortion suit
AL.COM  – Roy Moore lawyer accused of seeking romantic relationship from client
AL.COM  – Federal government brings back death penalty, orders 5 executions
AL.COM  – Alabama port business heats up as massive container refrigerator comes in
AL.COM  – Mobile jail GED program provides inmates chance to improve circumstances after release
AL.COM  – Canadian owner of Jack’s Restaurants to sell chain
AL.COM  – FreightCar closing Virginia plant, moving jobs to Alabama
AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Leave it to Cleaver: Merrill’s homophobic TV nostalgia is a political rerun we can’t stop watching
Montgomery Advertiser – An Alabama humane society picked up a family’s dog. Hours later, it euthanized him in a ‘devastating’ mistake.
Montgomery Advertiser – Country band Confederate Railroad loses second gig in less than a month because of its logo
Montgomery Advertiser – ‘Light in a dark tunnel’: five join Department of Emergency Communications as dispatchers
YellowHammer News – Alabama rocket CEO and former Air Force leader warn of fierce competition for space
YellowHammer News – Kentucky House of Representatives passes resolution urging its AG to join Alabama’s U.S. Census lawsuit
YellowHammer News – Congressmen Bradley Byrne, Ted Budd introduce Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act
Dothan Eagle – Hawk-Houston Youth Enrichment Center summer program continues founder’s legacy
Dothan Eagle – Equifax settlement: Check to see if you’re eligible with this tool
Dothan Eagle – Dothan Tech Center putting some grease into Automotive Technology offering
Tuscaloosa News – Todd Hall named new Pickens County Sheriff
Tuscaloosa News – Florida minister, sex offender held on child porn charges
Tuscaloosa News – 1 dead, 3 injured after house fire in Birmingham
Decatur Daily – Murder suspect out on bail; police say ammo, possible blood found in home
Decatur Daily – Point Mallard shooting suspect facing felony drug charge
Decatur Daily – Personnel board says officer didn’t live up to job’s high standards
Times Daily – K-9s fill valuable roles in local agencies
Times Daily – Muscle Shoals seeks $100K for flood study
Times Daily – UNA professor named to board of media organization
Gadsden Times – Gadsden man charged in counterfeit case
Gadsden Times – Woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in 18-day-old’s death
Gadsden Times – ‘Beautiful Rainbow’ to show in five film festivals
Anniston Star – Cleburne EMS may station ambulance in Ranburne
Anniston Star – Photos; JSU Kid College Graduation
Anniston Star – Exit through the gift shop
Troy Messenger – County plans to repave roads with gas tax
Troy Messenger – ‘Hearts heavy’ in Brundidge after robbery-homicide
Troy Messenger – Footage of Brundidge murder, robbery suspect released; cash reward offered
Andalusia Star News – AES to obtain its own school resource officer
Andalusia Star News – Sheriff’s Deputy volunteers time with kids
Andalusia Star News – Pistol permit change goes into effect
Opelika-Auburn News – Second annual Black Male Summit slated for Saturday
Opelika-Auburn News – US Justice Department will execute inmates for first time since 2003
Opelika-Auburn News – Police reports from July 25
Daily Mountain Eagle – DME Media Day brings football, community together
Daily Mountain Eagle – UA intern explores mental health attitudes in county
Daily Mountain Eagle – County voting machines now outdated
Trussville Tribune – Center Point Council agrees to new camera system for the Community Center
Trussville Tribune – City of Clay to supplement summer food program for Clay-Chalkville students
Trussville Tribune – Alabama man gets death in shooting of 1-year-old daughter
Athens News Courier – STEPPING UP GRANT: Initiative targets hospital costs, recidivism
Athens News Courier – Florida minister, sex offender held on child porn charges
Athens News Courier – Arrest Reports for 7/26/19
WSFA Montgomery – Alabama Shakespeare Festival reveals 2019-2020 season lineup
WSFA Montgomery – High-speed chase ends in arrest of Montgomery man by Greenville PD
WSFA Montgomery – Top Alabama scams: What you need to know
Fox 6 Birmingham – No injures reported in East Lake house fire
Fox 6 Birmingham – White House initiative to prepare students at Lawson for digital jobs
Fox 6 Birmingham – What you need to know before hiring a work crew on your property
WAFF Huntsville – One person shot on Moores Mill Road overnight
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville City Council approves new downtown hotel
WAFF Huntsville – School board reaches settlement in Lee High School gender discrimination lawsuit
WKRG Mobile – Warrant issued for Crestview homicide suspect
WKRG Mobile – Police: 1 teen, 1 child shot in Birmingham neighborhood drive-by
WKRG Mobile – Mixer held in Pensacola to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida
WTVY Dothan – Search continues for Brundidge murder suspect
WTVY Dothan – Law enforcement talk school safety in the Dothan area
WTVY Dothan – 29 cats mauled by pit bulls at Dothan Animal Shelter
WASHINGTON POST  – Democrats struggle to figure out next move against Trump after Mueller hearing falls flat
WASHINGTON POST  – The IRS turned over Nixon’s tax returns the same day a congressional panel asked for them
WASHINGTON POST  – House passes two-year budget deal to lift spending, suspend debt ceiling
WASHINGTON POST  – Columnist Michelle Singletary: What my grandmother would have said about Trump’s food stamp proposal
WASHINGTON POST  – House panel accuses e-cigarette maker Juul of targeting children
NEW YORK TIMES  – U.S. to Pay Farmers Up to $16 Billion for Trade War Losses, South to Benefit
NEW YORK TIMES  – Columnist Paul Krugman: Trump’s Secret Foreign Aid Program: He’s giving away billions to overseas investors
NEW YORK TIMES  – These Are the 5 Men the Federal Government Plans to Execute




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